News and Information
June 17, 2019

Highlights of the June 13, 2019, Virginia State Bar Council Meeting

At its meeting on June 13, 2019, in Virginia Beach, the Virginia State Bar Council heard the following significant reports and took the following actions.

Access to Legal Services Committee
Council approved by unanimous vote the proposed amendments to VSB bylaws changing the Access to Legal Services Committee from a “Special” to “Standing” Committee. Effective immediately.

Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13.
Council approved by unanimous vote the proposed amendments to Paragraph 13. The changes (1) eliminate two “dismissal” sanctions that create a disciplinary record; (2) clarify and enhance the transparency and uniformity of the VSB’s disciplinary process while protecting the confidentiality of medical, psychological, treatment, and other sensitive information in public disciplinary proceedings; and (3) ensure the rules are consistent with procedure and practice. The proposed rule changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.

Legal Ethics Opinion 1750
Council unanimously approved revisions to LEO 1750 – Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation — The revisions to this LEO remove citations to now-withdrawn Lawyer Advertising Opinions (LAOs) 0101, 0102, 0104, 0105, and 0113. The Committee withdrew those LAOs, along with seven others, on August 1, 2018, because they were obsolete, superseded by amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct, or restated in whole or in part in LEO 1750.

The proposed revisions also include a substantial revision to section B of the LEO, on the use of the phrase “no recovery, no fee.” The proposed changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.

Legal Ethics Opinion 1872
Council unanimously approved revisions to LEO 1872 – Virtual Law Office and Use of Executive Office Suites — The revisions update references to Rule 1.6(d), on a lawyer’s duty to protect confidential information, and Rule 7.1, on advertising; the revisions also remove references to former Regulation 7 Governing Applications for Admission to the Virginia Bar Pursuant to Rule 1A:1 of the Supreme Court of Virginia since that regulation has been modified and no longer requires that lawyers admitted to practice by motion maintain a physical office space. The proposed changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.

Rule 4.4(b) – Respect for Rights of Third Persons
Council approved by unanimous vote the proposed amendments to Rule 4.4(b). The proposed changes add paragraph (b), which codifies the guidance currently found in LEO 1702 regarding a lawyer who receives privileged information that was inadvertently sent. Specifically, paragraph (b) requires that a lawyer who receives information relating to the representation of the lawyer’s client and who knows that the information is privileged and was inadvertently sent must immediately terminate review or use of the information, promptly notify the sender, and abide by the sender’s instructions, if applicable, to return or destroy the information. The proposal added Comments [2] and [3] to further explain the scope of the rule. The proposed changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.

Updated: Jun 18, 2019